The 's One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay

The 's One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay

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Gender relations and differences have been a part of society since the birth of civilization. Gender relations in the past have been mainly dominated by men. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, women are lower that men. Women are never really apart of the play and when they are a part of the play, they are usually expressing stereotypical women behavior. In Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, women are mainly expressed overpowering men. Both pieces include patriarchal elements. Kesey and Shakespeare use various stereotypical female characters as a metaphor for the different roles that women have in society, to express the views society holds on these roles.

In One Flew over the Cuckoo’s, women are expressed as powerful people, but there are also women who are submissive to men. Women are held to the expectation of men as sex objects, but to society have the expectation of being virgin and wholesome. “...spinning his tale on how it would be, with all the men scared and all the beautiful young girls panting after me.” (Kesey 187) These whores have been placed into the role of appeasing men, and doing what men want. This outlines how women are treated as objects. “‘A woman like this. A cheap! Low! Painted-’ ‘Courtesan’” (Kesey 266) In this situation Billy took advantage of Candy, and the Nurse was expressing her feelings about this. Instead of only Billy being criticized, Candy is offended for doing an act like this, even though she was a victim or she chose to be with Billy. Women are stereotypically submissive and scared of men, and play the role of being dependent. “McMurphy sees how she’s looking so scared and big-eyed at him, so he sticks his head in the station where she’s issuing pills, and gives her a big friendly grin… This flus...


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.... This change is very different from traditional ways of family life. Women’s roles are changing and we can hope they will end up as a blend between nowadays men and women roles.

Using many examples and characters from the novels One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Hamlet, Ken Kesey and Shakespeare both express how society views the different roles women have, by using various female characters as metaphors to society. Women are stereotypically viewed as leeser to their male counterparts, as mainly portrayed in Hamlet. Women can also hold the general role of men as the powerful leaders, expressed in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Views on gender roles are also changing in society today. The one woman who was truly respected and liked, was the asian nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She was both compassionate and caring, but was also powerful and a leader.

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